Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Rant #436: Back to the Mat

In the midst of the most horrible winter I can imagine--with piles of snow now pelted by a rain and an ice storm that began yesterday and has stretched into this morning--I took my son to see WWE Wrestling last night.

This has become an at least twice yearly occurrence for my son and myself. We go when it comes to us locally, which means the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y.

Last night, we saw Smackdown, NXT and one match for WWE Superstars. NXT already aired online, while Superstars will air on WGN on Thursday and Smackdown will be televised on SyFy on Friday.

What happened really wasn't that important--lots of talk and false bravado, and not that much action--but it still amazes me that this stuff sells so well to the general public.

The Coliseum seats about 16,000 or 17,000 for pro wrestling, and I would said that the place probably had about 13,000 there last night. Some sections were covered up, as those seats probably weren't needed because they weren't sold. But the rest was full, and I mean packed.

And this is on a school night, in the middle of winter, in the middle of an ice storm.

It's important to mention that this was a school night, because it is completely incredible how many kids are there, taken by their parents to see people fighting other people.

In our section alone--which was, as usual, the nosebleed section--there were dozens of kids, ranging in ages from about two or three up to my son's age, 15.

Their parents take them to these matches, and I am not just talking about dads. Plenty of moms go, too, and for that matter, there are plenty of moms and young women and girls that attend these things.

Way back when, when I used to go to Madison Square Garden to see the WWWF--what WWE was called in the 1960s and 1970s when it was more a regional group than they are now--it was mostly boys, young men and older gentlemen who attended. Very few young ladies were there, and not too many older ones either, except for the ladies with the hatpins, who sat all the way down and would torture the bad guys with their pins (I always wondered if WWWF actually employed these women, one for every city, just to keep things interesting).

Well, the hatpin ladies went the way of the eight-track cassette when the AIDS epidemic hit, but more to the point, professional wrestling has become a family night out. It really is the sports equivalent to the circus, with one ring instead of three.

There are the clowns, the more serious performers, and beautiful women to keep you going.

And it is fun, although for me, I have been watching wrestling since I am about seven years of age, so whether you are talking about Bruno Sammartino or John Cena, it really is repetitive to a fault.

But the crowd had a good time, my son (battling a horrible cold that I think he got from me) had a good time, and the best thing is that on a school night, we were both in bed before 11 p.m.

You can't beat that--and my son can sleep a little longer this morning, because he has a delayed school opening due to the ice storm.

Wow, to be a kid today ... you just can't beat it!

Kudos to WWE--they know how to put on a good show, no matter what is happening outside the arena.

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